As the 21 May election draws close, PSA’s election platform has renewed calls to prioritise better consumer access to healthcare through fairer remuneration for pharmacist-delivered services.
Firstly, it is time to address the barriers to accessing government-funded vaccinations. It is unacceptable for Australians not to receive a subsidy for administration of a NIP vaccine from a pharmacist; the exact same service delivered by a practice nurse or GP.
Secondly, when it comes to multidisciplinary case conferences, pharmacists are the only AHPRA-registered allied health provider that government does not remunerate for our time and participation. This is unacceptable for a service as important as case conferencing, a critical multidisciplinary process for ensuring quality of care. How can you manage complex care when the medicines expert isn’t there?
Both major parties must address these inequitable consumer access to care issues as a matter of priority. This can be achieved through two important changes:
- Introduce a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) payment directly to pharmacists for administering NIP vaccines,
- Introduce a separate MBS rebate for pharmacists to be remunerated for participating in multidisciplinary case conferences, to increase consumer access to pharmacist skills and expertise.
‘Now more than ever is the time to ensure that access to healthcare stays universal. Consumers deserve affordable access to care in all health settings from their chosen health professional.’
A/Prof Chris Freeman
The Australian public and pharmacists have faced immense challenges over the past 24 months.
We are just weeks out from one of the most important federal elections in decades. Now, more than ever, is the time to ensure that access to healthcare stays universal. Consumers deserve affordable access to care in all health settings from their chosen health professional.
Regardless of the election result, PSA is committed to working with the incoming government to tackle these challenges, improving access to pharmacist-delivered care and ensuring Australians get the care they need, when and where they need it.
Your colleagues need you
Building on the success of the National Advocacy Day of Action in March, I ask all members to help fight for better this election by:
- Emailing your candidates: Use the National Advocacy Day of Action tool to contact your next local member
- Visiting local candidates at meet-and-greets, such as at local shops. If you can, arrange a visit to your practice and share the work you do with your local candidates
- Being heard on social media: use #ausvotes and tag @PSA_National so PSA can amplify your voice.
Need more info? Contact your Advocacy Team via firstname.lastname@example.org